1905 年五月的一个晚上六点钟，约翰·E·肯尼迪 (John E. Kennedy) 给 Lord & Thomas 广告公司的高级合伙人 AL Thomas 寄了一封信。托马斯正准备离开办公室时，信使把纸条递给他。内容如下：
肯尼迪那天晚上告诉他的话很简单。广告是印刷品销售。正如拉斯克在 1925 年与他的机构工作人员会面时所说的那样，
“那是在 1905 年肯尼迪告诉它的时候；
肯尼迪是对的吗？这种新见解是有效广告的关键吗？肯尼迪在 The Regal Shoe Company、Post Grape Nuts、Postum Coffee 和 Dr. Shoop’s Family Medicine Co. 的经历毫无疑问地证明了他确实已经孤立了这个基本概念。
今天，仅有的带有肯尼迪名字的文件是：广告原因，广告测试书（与广告原因基本相同，但增加了几章 – 其中一个纯粹是促销和非指导性的本质上），而这一项，密集型广告。
Who Was John E. Kennedy?
A Short Biography
It was six o’clock on a May evening in 1905 when John E. Kennedy sent a note up to A. L. Thomas, the senior partner of the Lord & Thomas advertising agency. Thomas was just getting ready to leave the office when the messenger brought him the note. It read as follows:
“You do not know what advertising is. No one in the advertising business knows what advertising is. No advertiser knows for certain what advertising is. If you want to know, tell this messenger that I should come up. I’m waiting in the lobby downstairs.”
It was signed: “John E. Kennedy.” Thomas read the note with an amused smile then handed it to Albert D. Lasker, the junior partner in the firm and said to him, “Well, you have been asking this question for years and nobody has yet satisfied you. Maybe here is the answer…You see the man.”
Albert Lasker saw Kennedy that night. It wasn’t until 3 o’clock in the morning before they left the building. And when Lasker left that night, he had the answer to what advertising was.
What Kennedy told him that night was simple. Advertising is SALESMANSHIP-IN-PRINT. And as Lasker said at a meeting with his agency staff in 1925,
“It was that in 1905 when Kennedy told it;
it was that before anyone had ever told me,
and it will always be that, and nothing else”
(from The Lasker Story As He Told It)
Kennedy had been in the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police and had become interested in advertising. He told Lasker tales about the long, lonesome days and nights in the snowy emptiness of Northern Canada and how he spent them in meditative concentration isolating the fundamental concept in all of advertising, which was COPY, and how he had discovered that selling copy that got results was characterized by SALESMANSHIP-IN-PRINT.
Was Kennedy right? Was this new insight the key to effective advertising? Kennedy’s experience with The Regal Shoe Company, Post Grape Nuts, Postum Coffee, and Dr. Shoop’s Family Medicine Co. proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he truly had isolated that fundamental concept.
After that fateful meeting with Lasker, Kennedy joined Lord & Thomas and became the highest salaried writer in all of advertising. One of his first jobs was to write down his principles so they could be taught to other copywriters in the agency.
Today, the only documents that survive with Kennedy’s name on them are: Reason Why Advertising, The Book of Advertising Tests (which is basically the same as Reason Why Advertising but with a couple added chapters — one of which being purely promotion and non-instructive in nature), and this one, Intensive Advertising.
The value of the information you are about to gain is limited only by the extent to which you use it. Many have made millions by following these principles. Many more have lost millions by ignoring them.
Which path you choose is entirely your own. The fact that you have this report in your hands and are reading it is a good sign. Have fun and prosper.